ALIEN: COVENANT Review: 8 out of 10 (Its XENO-Morphin Time!)
ALIEN: COVENANT is the latest in the greater ALIEN film saga and is directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper. It is the second part of a prequel series coming after the 2012 installment PROMETHEUS. And although that film got a lot of hate from fans of the series and film critics alike, count me as one who really liked the world building, and sci-fi purity of it. Though in time it will get its own re-examination by the masses, this next chapter is certainly created more to meet their expectations. ALIEN: COVENANT extends the mythos of the franchise, it also amps up the terrifying nature of these films that fans love so much.
Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir star here in a movie that takes place about 10 years after the PROMETHEUS story. The crew members of the Covenant colony ship bound for a remote planet they plan to colonize. The plot is certainly a familiar one: 1. Crew picks up a distress signal. 2. Crew decides to investigate. 3. Crew instantly regrets the previous decision. To say more might ruin what little surprises lie in wait, but suffice to say there is plenty of what fans of the series want: astonishing special effects, body horror, and more than a few moments of sheer dread. And though some might complain about the logic and decision making of these characters (a critique given to the previous film) you could probably say that about nearly any chapter in the greater franchise. Put simply, the rules of logic rarely apply in horror films...even ones with really smart people in them. But even with all the creepy alien xenomorphs running around, the film does continue to extend the alien lore. Further, the film explores ideas of religion, literature, and philosophy--in between all the graphic bloodletting.
Fassbender is remarkable here, returning to play the android David from the previous film, but also starring as Walter--a newer model of the same synthetic humanoid. Katherine Waterston will certainly get the Sigourney Weaver comparisons here too, and rightly so. However, she certainly works to match that level. The big surprise here is Danny McBride as "Tennessee" the Covenant ship's pilot. McBride throws off his comedic chops here and steps up to a dramatic action role and hits it out of the park.
ALIEN: COVENANT offers more action and horror than the previous chapter which will delight most fans. It stands in all of these films as a worthy chapter in the greater franchise--and with director Ridley Scott(at 80 years old no less) offering at least one more chapter to the prequel franchise to start production in 2018, there should be plenty more xenomorphic horror to come.